Thursday, 09 November 2017 21:33

The bleating of the goats Featured

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Some days you're the goat, and some days you're the goat lover. Unless you're Jake Langenfeld. In which case, you're always the Goat Lover.

Jake earned that nickname last season (it only takes one...), but last night at the Red Lion in Lincoln Square, the moniker took on a whole new meaning. Jake drowned the bar in the plaintive bleats of his enemies while rolling to his second board-top with the club and first since Game No. 290 in January 2016.

Game No. 355 ended by time limit after the Fall 1907 turn in the following center counts:

Austria (Christian Kline): 0; 0.000 points.
England (Bryan Pravel): 9; 28.723 points.
France (Matt Sundstrom): 6; 12.766 points.
Germany (Brandon Fogel): 1; 0.355 points.
Italy (Isaac Cumberledge): 4; 5.674 points.
Russia (Don Glass): 2; 1.418 points.
Turkey (Jake Langenfeld): 12; 51.064 points.

The game was Jake's 13th in four seasons with the Weasels. He's swimming to the head of the class of the club's next wave of sharks as the Weasels continue to turn nice guys into Diplomacy players.

The supply center chart is here. Players, your thoughts?

Read 133 times Last modified on Thursday, 09 November 2017 22:11
More in this category: « New season, old wars

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+4 # Jake Langenfeld 2017-11-10 08:11
This was probably my best face-to-face performance since I started gaming with the club back in the winter of 2015.

From my view in Ankara I could see three players who I hadn’t had much interaction with in the past: Don, the Russian, who was present in my first game ever; Ike, the Italian, who was brand new to face-to-face games himself; and Christian, the Austrian, whose aggressive style was something I had only experienced once previously. (I lost badly that game.)

I decided my starting strategy would be this: Open conservatively (forego Armenia, at least initially), get a feel for Italy’s directionality (East or West?), and keep an eye on Christian.

Upon reflection, I think three things gave me a high score:

  • A paranoid Russia. I decided not to open to Armenia and to instead play conservatively by moving west. Don, acting on false intelligence, moved to Armenia to preempt a bounce there, but it failed. Through that misstep, I gained the Black Sea, covered myself in Ankara, and had an upper hand against Russia throughout the rest of the game. To keep Austria somewhat in check, I helped Don get into Rumania, but much of our good relationship faded away after my push into Armenia and then Sevastopol.

  • A forthcoming Italy. Italy’s first line of communication to me started with “I plan to try a Lepanto” and it nearly ended there. It was quickly apparent to Ike that a Lepanto served no one well (especially himself), so he forfeit the attempt early on to fight Austria. (Although his EMS fleet would continue to taunt me for the remainder of the game.) What really hurt Italy (and helped me) was his convoy into Albania. This move focused Austria’s aggression westward for the remainder of the game which allowed me to capitalize on some ungarrisoned Balkan centers.

  • An amicable Austria. I didn’t expect it at first, but Christian and I worked well together. He helped me get some Russian dots and did a good job with keeping Italy in check. I brandished my stabbing knife at the perfect time, walking into Serbia and Greece and securing the military capital needed to keep a defensive hold on my (widening) sphere of influence.


Three more decisions ensured me the board-top:

  • The Moscow Exchange: Russia gifting me Moscow in exchange for shutting England out of St. Pete in the last year of the game.

  • The Italian Irredentist: Italy holding onto Venice thanks to a support cut via my Albanian fleet aimed at the French Adriatic fleet.

  • A Vacancy in Vienna: A Bohemia-bound Austria leaving Vienna open for a twelfth dot.


What would I have done differently? I might have opened harder against Italy. The issue here was that, smartly, a mid-game France began pumping fleets into the Western Mediterranean in a Truman Doctrine of sorts. Matt warned me after he dispatched this armada: “Don’t hit your head against a wall in a battle you can’t win.” This NATO-like (MATTO? I had to!) threat stymied my attempts at filling around the Italian peninsula, but that alliance also shut Matt out from those dots in the long run.

Overall, it was a great game, and I learned a lot from it. Very glad to have joined, and grateful to this club for having me.
+1 # Jim O'Kelley 2017-11-10 08:30
Great write-up, Jake! Good to see a new contributor. More evidence that our player development efforts are working.
+2 # Jake Trotta 2017-11-10 10:42
Congrats, smart Jake. Honestly sounds like you played a perfect Turkey, allowing people and the board to work for you then gobbling once it opens up.
# Brandon Fogel 2017-11-15 10:49
Nice write-up, Goat Jake. You navigated the early game well and set yourself up perfectly to take advantage of late game chaos on the opposite side of the board.
# Matt Sundstrom 2017-11-14 18:57
Agreed. Jake did well. He kept me out of Italy but I was basically doing the same. Got into a dot-grab sprint at the end of the game but he was going to do well in that. Nice to see everyone and the guests.

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